Seems B2B callers are getting the word on just how much pain previous TCPA litigants can cause - Just by saying they are going to sue you. Even if you are calling cell phones by hand (although that’s extremely rare in the B2B world –) And you've probably chosen not to register with the National DNC List as a free B2B exemption - because you're exempt anyway, right? Ahhh kind of.
The problem: As with any litigation, you'll have to answer the TCPA claims made against you. And most B2B companies just don't want the hassle of previous TCPA Litigant professionals. As they say in the debt collector world: it’s cheaper just to pay off the threat than defend your position, even if you're right. (Debt collectors have eliminated previous litigants for years because of this.)
But B2B callers tend to think they are exempt from everything. And for a long time, this was kind of true. Until October 16’th 2013 when a cell phone was no longer defined as either “consumer” or “business”. It is now just a cell. And smart B2B litigants are starting to find fertile ground in the mostly unprotected world of the TCPA there.
What your B2B peers are doing to protect themselves against the TCPA & DNC laws.
1. You can register with the National DNC Registry for free. But not many are doing it.
The reason most don't: We can't figure this one. Because companies that have put their numbers on the National DNC List aren’t going to buy anything anyway – so why bother calling them. And they'll have a higher propensity to complain. The smokin' gun of the CFPB. Also, National Registration is free and goes a long way to show you care about compliance to Federal Agencies. (The FTC, for example, has suggested B2B callers not call small/medium business cells unsolicited, as those numbers do not lose their consumer rights under the DNC laws.) D&B says that about 20% of small to medium business are on the DNC list. So you won't be losing alot of numbers on your calling list here either. See our page: "Do Not Call List Scrubbing for B2B's."
2. You can scrub cell phones. But not many B2B's are.
Usually, it’s a lawyer that insists that their B2B company scrub cells. Lawyers know that’s the first question the CFPB will ask during an audit: “Where are your cell records?” They also know other smart prosecutors are getting better at suing B2B callers and know it’s tougher to defend them now. Again, after the October 16th cell ruling, everything changed.
Why don’t more B2B companies scrub cells? Fallout. They fear they wouldn’t have enough numbers to call. They also claim they don’t use any type of auto-assisted dialing anyway, so it's O.K. to call. Lawyers know this is not true in most cases – and the FCC further blurred these “auto-dialer definitions” in their June 10th 2015 Declaratory Ruling update on the TCPA. See our page: "Cell Scrubbing for B2B's."
3. You can get a Litigator Scrub. And yes lots of you are pulling the trigger here.
Seems B2B companies don’t want to put up with the hassle of tangling with the pros. The professional TCPA, FDCPA, FCRA and DNC litigants. Maybe they're tired of paying off previous litigators! Chalking it up to a one-time thing. Another plus: You won’t get much number fallout with a Litigant Scrub. With almost 3 million cell phones in this Country, 80,000 numbers that can lead you down a world of telecom hurt just won’t make any difference at all on outgoing call volumes. See our page: "TCPA Litigant Scrub."
So why exactly are B2B companies employing TCPA Litigation Scrubs?
To save court money - and stay in business. The scrub is inexpensive, and can potentially have the biggest payoff against the 900 lb Gorilla in the room – class action lawsuits. Of the folks that initiated TCPA and related lawsuits, 40% have done it more than once. Last year, the average TCPA class action lawyer made 2.4 million dollars. The average consumer involved in the litigations made $4.25. Your scrub will also be backed up by a top Certified Do Not Call TCPA Compliance Provider. So it's a great way to start a compliance relationship there should you end up in court. You can easily add cell scrubbing and DNC registration down the road if you like.
“Please let me speak with the person that can write me a check”
This is the professional call you want to avoid. “Please write me a check for $5,000 or I’m suing you. You called my business cell, so obviously you’re not scrubbing cells, nor are you registered for the National and State Do Not Call Lists, as my number is on those also. You’re obviously using a predictive dialer because of the dead air delay at the beginning of your call – another violation under the TCPA without written permissions. So you don’t want to go to court with me since the cell laws changed October 16th, 2014 to become consumer/business agnostic. Not to mention it will cost you a lot more than $5,000 to attempt to defend yourself - And as you've undoubtedly made lots of these non-TCPA compliant cell calls, I'll be sure to ask for class action status if you do go to court.”
In Summary, your B2B Company:
Probably is not registered with the National DNC registry.
Probably not scrubbing cells for whatever reason you think is safe.
You're an easy target for TCPA experienced litigants and their professional cell phone owners.
So at least stay away from previous professional TCPA litigants with a Litigator Scrub.